How to Estimate Furniture Placement Using Kraft Paper

Sometimes you can look at something all day long on a piece of paper and still not feel it in the room. When I decorated our living and dining area, I used Kraft paper to estimate furniture placement after I narrowed down items I was considering from the scaled drawing method. You may opt to use this method instead of doing scaled drawings, but be prepared to use a lot of paper if you have several furniture pieces to decide on.

This Kraft paper method is useful for:

  • Estimating furniture placement before purchasing items.
  • Estimating how items might look on a gallery wall and rearranging until you get a look you like without putting holes in the wall and without actually needing to purchase the items you’re considering.

The instructions I’m giving are for furniture placement, but the same basic procedures apply when doing a gallery wall. Just use painter’s tape when taping the paper to the wall so you can easily remove and adjust pieces.

Here’s what you need:

  • Kraft paper
  • Scissors
  • Marker, pen, or pencil
  • Measurements of your items (width, depth)
  • Measuring tape or large ruler

Before you begin:  If you have furniture in the room that you plan on not using in the new room design, move it out of the room.

Here’s how the Kraft paper method works for items:

  1. Estimate the shape the piece has looking from the top down.
    Example: This chair goes slightly out near the arms so I might do something like this:
  2. Measure the dimensions and draw the general shape of the object on Kraft paper.
    Note: Measurements manufacturers give will be the widest, deepest part of the furniture. Look at the shape of the object to understand where these parts might be and draw the shape accordingly. In this example, I would take the width they gave and make the widest part of my shape that width. The back would be slightly narrower.
  3. Label the paper shape with the name of the product and the store that sells it.
  4. Repeat for each item.
  5. Cut out the shapes and place in the room.
  6. Walk through the room to get a feel for the flow of the room. You generally want to allow 3 feet for people to get by.
  7. Adjust placement as needed.
  8. Repeat steps for each piece and visualize each product in the room.

Here’s an example of a room in process:

Seeing this arrangement made me realize that having two chairs near the entryway interrupted the flow between the entryway and the living room. Seeing the backs of chairs that block a room immediately upon entering could feel uninviting. So I simply moved pieces around until I got a layout that felt right. We ended up making our coffee table so this method also helped us know how big to make it.

No need to break your back trying to move actual furniture here, there, and everywhere. And no need to buy pieces, and then realize the room feels claustrophobic because the furniture “didn’t look that big in the store.” We all work hard for our money, so the things we purchase should work for us long term and make us smile.

That’s all there is to it! If you try this, share your experience!